Seeing with the Eyes of Christ
I define apostolic perspective as seeing with the eyes of Christ and understanding with the mind of Christ, the things pertaining to the direction and the positioning of the Church of Jesus Christ.
God has a very specific agenda for the Church of Jesus Christ and for the world. Whatever the Church does therefore, must be in keeping with God’s objective and be in His timing. Apostolic perspective undergirds and steers the Church, keeping it on course, in tune, and in step with what the Spirit of God is saying and doing for the advancement of Christ’s Christianity.
Without an apostolic perspective the Church could find itself out of step with the Lord, out of His will, and out of His purpose. We will not understand what the Lord is saying and doing in the present to advance and position His Church. We will be laboring in vain even as we produce that which is good and plentiful. Our good would then be, in effect, a hindrance to the will of the Lord, counterfeit to the perfect—standing in the way of God’s best for our lives.We could even be backslidden and out of the will of God,but not know it unless we recognize and accept the importance of apostolic correction and direction. This is a sure way to end up as an unprofitable servant, individually, and as an unprofitable church, corporately.
The apostolic perspective was needed in the early Church, and still is needed today, to understand the pulse of the Spirit for effective Kingdom business in every situation.
Perhaps one of the most vivid examples of apostolic perspective at work is seen in the letters contained in the Book of Revelation which Jesus dictated to the Apostle John for the Pastors (the angels) of the seven churches. Five of seven churches were operating outside of the will of the Lord and were totally unaware of it! Jesus, speaking from the apostolic office, revealed to them their true condition, from God’s viewpoint. Let us consider two of the seven churches.
The church at Laodicea was comfortable and prospering. They viewed themselves as rich, in “need of nothing”yet Jesus saw them as wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked because they had no zeal for the things of God. They were neutral—”neither cold nor hot.” They thought that they were in the will of God because of their prosperity but Jesus showed them that they were, in fact,completely off course. He cautioned them to swiftly move from that place of complacency and inactivity and get involved in advancing His kingdom or else He said, “I will spue thee out of my mouth.”
The church at Smyrna on the other hand, was on course but did not even realize it. Unlike the church at Laodicea, they were wretchedly poor and experiencing persecution and tribulation. No doubt they were accused by many of having missed God! The Lord’s message to them showed them God’s perspective. He told them that, despite their troubles, He saw them as rich. Apostolic perspective assured them that they were on the right path and this encouraged them to continue on and not to trade persecution for comfort and ease.
This is what the Apostolic Office is for—to point out errors; to point out the path that is God’s path and will; and to have each assembly find its place in the Body of Christ. It is the apostolic perspective which helped these churches to find their way again. Many churches are guided by that which is natural and resort to “doing their own thing”, but God’s Word and way remain true … “he who has an ear to hear let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the church.”